POSTED: Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:38 pm

Do not cry out or hit the alarm
You know we're friends till we die

The Del Cenerian procession met many a man on their travels south. Few stood out in the blur, for none could make the lofty promises Boone so foolishly desired. He chased fortune with the tenacity of a rabid dog.

However, one did spur Boone’s interest.

He’d been a likable young man with a powerful family name. This Manuelle, he and Boone spoke like kin when the drinks began to flow. Joking, laughing over games of chance, even as the tides of conversation turned to riches and wonders – and his family, the Del Mars. Manuelle spoke with a youthful, joyous spark by the light of the tavern’s roaring hearth. Boone’s attention was rapt.

Their family, he explained, moved goods by trade. All above board, nothing particularly duplicitous it seemed. It seemed an opportunity Boone was willing to explore. Perhaps it was the other’s coyote blood that made Boone open minded.

Manuelle extended a kindly invitation to his family’s new northern outpost. “Just, hear what my grandpa has to say,” he explained in earnest. “he’ll explain it better than I can

Boone conferred briefly with Briarblack and Uncle Ron before accepting the young Del Mar’s offer with a firm handshake. “Sure,” Boone agreed. “We’ll ride with you in the morning.” First, however, there was a game of lots to finish.


The caravan rode four strong through the iron gate at Manuelle’s behest. A guard armed with a spear waved the party through.

Palisade, they called it. A sprawling vista in grave contrast to the harsh northern woods in which it was hidden. An estate of the old world, meticulously restored and scrubbed free of any sign of rot. Out front were gardens and arranged in rows were cabins built for the groundskeepers and workmen. Boone had seen no such luxury before.

Just before the great estate they stopped. “Come on,” Manuelle instructed before tying his horse to the hitching post. Boone and his company followed suit.

Andrez!” The young man called out abruptly with a sharp and grating yap. A dark haired coyote of roughly the same age poked his head up from the garden, ears swiveling toward the noise. “My brother can show your friends to their cabin

Boone felt some apprehension about splitting their posse, but Ron easily agreed to see where they’d be sleeping – Briarblack followed, if only to keep Ron out of trouble.

Meanwhile, Manuelle led Boone into the Del Mar estate. “This is just one of our houses,” The young Del Mar explained like a studious tour guide. The floor was polished marble and felt cool against the pads of Boone’s feet. “My family’s really from down south, so you’re lucky you caught us all while we’re here setting up the northern operation.

Grandpa’s office is just down the hall,” he went on, gesturing to a closed wooden door. Boone could hear voices coming from the inside. It sounded tense – an argument, though, Boone could not discern was being said for it was too muffled to patch together. However, Manuelle picked up on this immediately and said, “Maybe I should go in first. You know, prime the room.” He smiled, and slipped inside, shutting the door behind him.

The argument ceased and it was not long before the door opened again, but this time, it was not Manuelle who pushed passed Boone on his way out. It was an older coyote with green eyes and dark hair. Boone was nearly taken aback by the resemblance to his father, however, he lacked the identifying warmth in his eyes. This man was cold, and he spoke not a word to Boone as he passed.

Manuelle shortly followed and invited Boone inside.

At a desk, a greying coyote sat. He dressed in fine fabric, yet he radiated an air of roughness. He was missing several teeth and a long, pink scar ran the length of his grizzled face. His grey hair however was neatly combed back. Not a single strand was out of place. He puffed on a fat cigar and smoke filled the room.

Boone Winthrop,” the old man spoke in a rasp. He tapped his chin as if he were caught in a long distant memory.

Winthrop. Now that’s a name I haven’t heard in a very long time.” A crooked smile played along the corners of the Del Mar patriarch’s lips.

Del Cenere Gang
User avatar
Luperci Mate to Dahlia You have to love yourself a fire